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Mammograms: Questions for the doctor

A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast to check for breast cancer. Mammograms can help find breast cancer early. You have a better chance of surviving breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

  • If you are age 40 through 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
  • If you are age 50 to 74, get mammograms every 2 years. You may also choose to get them more often. Together, you and your doctor can decide what’s best for you.

Mammograms for women over age 40 are covered under the Affordable Care Act. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get mammograms at no cost to you. Talk to your insurance provider.

Like all medical tests, mammograms have pros and cons. These pros and cons change with your age and your risk for breast cancer. Use the questions below to start a conversation with your doctor about mammograms.

What do I ask the doctor?

It helps to have questions for the doctor written down ahead of time. Print this list of questions, and take it to your next appointment. You may want to ask a family member or close friend to come with you to take notes.

  • Do I have risk factors for breast cancer?
  • I am under age 50:
    • Based on my risk factors, what are my chances of getting breast cancer?
    • Should I start getting regular mammograms? If so, how often?
    • What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms before age 50?
  • I am between ages 50 and 74:
    • Based on my risk factors, what are my chances of getting breast cancer?
    • How often should I get mammograms?
    • What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms every 2 years instead of every year?
  • What happens during an appointment to get mammograms?
  • How long will it take to get the results of my mammograms?
  • If I don’t hear back from you about the results of my mammograms, should I assume everything is okay?
Mammograms: Questions for the doctor

Content last updated on:
September 30, 2014